Music – now more accessible than ever – here is a sample of what’s to come.

In my day, we went out and bought records after listening to them on the radio. Today we are in the digital world and the sound and creativity is so much better. And, we can simply go to an app on our phone and enjoy the music.

My grandson William (aka Squilly) is an up-and-coming songwriter and performer. So, if I may, I would like to introduce one of his songs. He has more on Spotify and honestly, probably more than that but I haven’t caught up to those yet.

I hope you enjoy the music and if so inclined please share with others, thanks!

Long intro but worth the wait.

NYC – Leonard Cohen at the Jewish Museum

This week,  I went to the Leonard Cohen exhibit at the Jewish Museum. (East 92nd and 5th Ave). The museum is housed in an old mansion and along with this exhibit, has other exhibitions that explore art and culture from ancient to modern times.

I enjoyed my visit and have written a few observations but first you must read an excellent review  written by Jordan Hoffman in the AMnewyork newspaper.

“Don’t come to the Leonard Cohen exhibit expecting a typical collection of memorabilia. There are no dog-eared notebooks under glass, no stage fedoras on display. For those of us sick of that sort of thing, let’s quote the man and say ‘Hallelujah”

Click  here  to read more of his  review.

 

The exhibit is very unusual as most of the exhibit is located in very dark  rooms. This use of black walls allows you to focus on the wall  projections, images and videos . Each space  has seating (a little hard to find in the dark)  but the darkness creates  a feeling of intimacy and gives Cohen’s music, as well as the visual images, more impact.

Before going I thought that this would be a typical visit where you can leisurely walk through the exhibits. However, this is an exhibit that, to really enjoy,  you must be willing to take quite a bit of time to sit in the different areas. Whether a fan of Cohen or not, sitting and watching the stories unfold before you lights up the mind and enhances your enjoyment.

Is it worth a visit?  I would say that the museum as a whole is worth visiting. I feel that the Cohen exhibit might be better enjoyed by people who are familiar with Cohen’s music and career. (Exhibit open until September 8th,)

postscript: The music was great!

 

NYC – West 48th Street – Music Row – 2018 Update

July 2018 update – gone forever

“In the middle of 48th Street on the south side of the block, where a clutch of music stores had once been, was rubble. An enormous expanse of rubble. The municipal version of a tooth that has been knocked out. If that wasn’t surprising enough, the space directly across the street, on the north side of the block, which had also been home to several music stores, was also rubble.

These stores on Forty-eighth Street weren’t merely a place to buy musical equipment. They were an immersive world where all this stuff was highly important. There were photos on the wall, the trappings of fame, money, the sense that giants had strode into this place, that the gods bought instruments here, or just strings and picks. Just by walking into these places you became a part of the ecclesiastical grit of rock music in New York”. (Thomas Beller, The New Yorker)

Music Row – Endangered

I recall going to 48th street during the late sixties and going in and out of several music stores. Yesterday, I walked down the street and couldn’t believe the shuttered up store fronts. Manny’s Musical Instruments, a Midtown landmark, since 1935, is gone and the remainder of the Music Row—as the block of W. 48th Street between Sevent and Sixth Avenues is affectionately known—is falling  like a row of dominoes.

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Over the years, Manny’s has serviced such clients as Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Buddy Holly, lks from Rockefeller Center have apparently been buying up parts of the block and aim to level the entire street so that the Center can expand across Sixth Avenue. Put simply, Music Row, one of the last real vestiges of Old Times Square, will cease to exist.

sam ashand the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, U2, Eric Clapton and Nirvana. This almost hurts even more than the recent news that Tin Pan Alley might be torn down, while Music Row still exists. It’s alive and functioning.

From the 60s through the 90s, 48th street between 6th and 7th Avenue was a mecca for music stores. In fact, these were arguably the best music stores maybe in the world, always with the latest gear and the best prices. The famous Manny’s Music would battle it out with cross-street rival Sam Ash while Alex Musical Instruments, Rudy’s Music, We Buy Guitars, 48th Street Music, Colony Music Center, New York Woodwinds and Brass, and a few others that I can’t remember picked up the crumbs.

mannys pictiures'Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones: Almost every major musical act of the last 75 years has a signed photo hanging on the “Wall of Fame” at Manny’s Music, the longest-standing store along fabled Music Row on West 48th Street in Midtown.

While there are several music stores on the western end of this block between Sixth and Seventh avenues in a cluster that feels frozen in time, many fear that the volume will soon be turned off completely.

The famous and beloved Music Row will soon be just a memory. Goodbye, Music Row. Some of us are going to miss you!

NYC – Enjoy a NYC Street Festival

Part of a NYC experience should include either a Street Fair or Festival (links at end of article). The month of May usually begins  the season and it continues throughout the summer and early fall.  The Festivals are quite colorful as they showcase music as well as performers. Of course, each festival will have  the street lined with booths selling everything from clothing, folk art and food.

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This past weekend I visited the Ukraine… actually the 39th Annual St. George  Ukrainian Festival, on 7th Street between Second and Third Avenues. The festival    celebrates the traditions of a culture that was once the largest demographic in the  East Village.

 

 

 

This is a small event just one block long but it packed with all kinds of activities. Many of the children were in native costumes.IMG_8768

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Most ethnic festivals are full of color and thing to buy, the Urkainian Festival was no exception

Almost every Festival has a stage and they present entertainment specific to their culture.

                                 (First time trying a video)    click here    Video clip

 

Here are some links to information about Street Fairs and Festivals

 

http://www.newyorkled.com/nyc_events_street_fairs.htm

http://movingsidewalkblog.com/?page_id=144

http://www.events12.com/newyork/may/

http://socialeyesnyc.com/manhattan/

and a tip from Laura C.

http://www.thrillist.com/events/new-york/things-to-do-in-nyc-this-summer-festival-calendar-2015

 

 

Click here for bus and subway info)

 

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NYC – Sinatra at Lincoln Center – now through September – Free

New  York City Public Library for the Performing Arts

at Lincoln Center

 

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The free multimedia exhibition features never-before-seen photos, family mementos, rare correspondence, personal items, clothing, artwork, and, of course, music. Most of the pieces come directly from the Sinatra family and have never been on public display before.

 

Entering this exhibit you are treated to the music of Frank Sinatra.The exhibition space has a nice feel about it – videos, inter-actives, posters, dioramas and recordings.  I enjoyed being there!

Slide Show – old photograhs

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The exhibit begins with his childhood and covers his life through videos , recordings, and family photographs. Quite a lot to see and read.

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The show traces Sinatra’s career in music, from early performances through big band performances, radio shows, gold and platinum records and Grammy awards.

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A replica of living rooms anywhere in the country. Personal camera (he carried one with him at all times).

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If you would like to make a day of visiting the upper west side… some suggestions

Columbus Circle (59th and Broadway Time Warner Building – neat to go inside and see the park through large windows.

Lincoln Square (65th Street), Commonly known as Lincoln Center – location  of Sinatra exhibit. Also, you will like the surroundings as well.

American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Sq

Zabar’s (80th). This is one of the city’s top gourmet stores, with a dizzying selection of cheeses, breads, prepared foods, salads and much more.

American Museum of Natural History. (77th and CPW) This is one of New York’s top attractions, with a world-class collection of dinosaurs.

Below 77th Street, you’ll pass the New-York Historical Society, a manageable sized museum with fascinating exhibits of the world’s most unmanageable city.

Dakota Building, 1 W 72nd St. Probably best known was the former Beatle John Lennon, who was gunned down outside the building on 8 December 1980. Make a pilgrimage into Central Park across the way, Just inside the 72nd Street entrance, to Strawberry Fields, a beautifully landscaped area dedicated to Lennon’s memory.

Tavern on the Green – inside Central Park (66th and CPW). Not good reviews but usually the outside looks great at Easter.

Eating – lots of restaurants along Broadway  and side streets.

Google  “NYC upper west side” for additional ideas

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